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Colne man who threatened to blow up his own house remains free
9:00pm Monday 22nd October 2012 in News
A MAN given six months to prove he would comply with mental health treatment after threatening to blow up his home has kept his freedom.
Jack Comerford, 55, had his sentence deferred in April, and Burnley Crown Court heard he had done all that was asked of him and more.
The court had earlier been told how the defendant, of Clifford Street, Colne, had admitted threatening to destroy property in a way likely to endanger life, last September.
Three streets had been evacuated in Colne when Comerford, then ‘suicidal’, had threatened to blow up his terrace home – as he had done exactly that before.
The defendant had told police he was going to turn on the gas, had a knife and was going to cut his throat. When police checked records, they found that in 1996 Comerford had blown up his house after turning on gas appliances, falling asleep, waking up and flicking a lighter.
Comerford, who in the second incident had told officers he had taken a lot of tablets, had finally agreed to give himself up after two hours and had passed a hammer and two knives to police through the letterbox.
The gas was cut off at 5pm, about the same time as he was arrested. He was taken to hospital because of the overdose.
The court heard that Comerford, said to have a long history of drugs usage and mental health issues, had referred himself to the community mental health team and was fully co-operating with the drugs agency Inspire.
Judge Jonathan Gibson, who had deferred sentence, told Comerford: “The kind of behaviour you exhibited was potentially dangerous.
“You threatened to blow the house up, but didn’t, in fact, turn the gas on. Had you done so, not only would you have received a custodial sentence, but you would also have been a very significant danger to the public.”
The judge imposed a three-year community order with supervision which, he said, would allow the defendant to continue with his progress and build upon it.
Judge Gibson said the order would be ‘better protection for the public’.